Add to FOI – Authorities that should be made subject to FOI

The list below reflects my views on which bodies are not currently subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (or Scottish equivalent) but should be added. Green font and the words “in respect of” are used for bodies that should be made subject only in respect of certain types of information. Sources used to compile this list include: FOIwiki and WhatDoTheyKnow.

Index to list

Communications, media and entertainment

  • Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
  • Authority for television on demand (ATVOD)
  • BBC Worldwide Limited, in respect in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature.
  • British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
  • British Film Institute
  • Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC)
  • PhonepayPlus Limited (regulator for premium rate charged telecommunications services)
  • Press Recognition Panel
  • Regional screen agencies, in respect of information related to their use of public funding
  • Royal Mail plc, in respect of information related to its Universal Service Obligation


  • Public sector contractors, in respect of information related to public sector contracts

A ‘public sector contractor’ could be defined as any person providing health, education, social care, security or criminal justice services under a contract made with a public authority where the provision of the service is function of that authority.(see note 1) This definition would include operators of private prisons and private security firms working for the UK Government in the UK and abroad.


  • Electoral Registration Officers for public elections
  • Returning Officers for public elections


  • Advocate for Access to Education
  • Exam Boards, in respect of information related to public examinations
  • Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
  • Jisc (UK Higher Education membership organisation)
  • Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) (designated operator of the student complaints scheme in England and Wales under the Higher Education Act 2004)
  • Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
  • Universities UK
  • University visitors

Energy, water and utilities

  • Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services Limited, in respect of information related to its role as the official gas registration body for Great Britain
  • BT Group plc, in respect of information related to its Universal Service Obligation and the Open reach division
  • Internal drainage boards created after 1990 (those that existed before 1991 are subject to the Act, it appears that ones created since 1991 are not. This appears to be a simple drafting error.
  • Nominet UK (the domain name registry for the United Kingdom)
  • KCOM Group PLC, in respect of information related to its Universal Service Obligation
  • National Grid, in respect of national infrastructure
  • Water companies, in respect of information related to their public functions
  • Water and sewage companies, in respect of information related to their public functions


  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited (FSCS) (statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms, set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000)
  • Financial Reporting Council (independent regulator responsible for promoting confidence in corporate governance and reporting)
  • Money Advice Service
  • National Anti-Fraud Network
  • Office of the Complaints Commissioner

Health and public safety

  • Local Medical Committees (statutory bodies representing GPs)
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • NHS Confederation

Heritage and commemoration

  • Churches Conservation Trust (sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport)
  • College of arms
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission (around 80% of funding is from UK government)

Law and justice

  • Approved regulator of lawyers under the Legal Services Act 2007, in respect of information related to their regulatory functions (e.g. Solicitors Regulation Authority)
  • Coroners
  • Inns of Court, in respect of information related to regulatory functions
  • Master of Faculties, in respect of information related to regulatory functions
  • Non-judicial inquiries
  • Official receivers

Local Government and housing

  • Business Improvement Districts (can raise business taxes)
  • Crown Estate Paving Commission
  • Housing Associations (also called Registered Social Landlords) (those wholly owned by one local authority are already subject to the Act)
  • The Housing Ombudsman Service
  • Local Government Association
  • Scottish Community Councils
  • Trusts established by local councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in respect of information related to their public functions

Parliamentary corporations and pension schemes

  • Corporate Officer of the House of Commons (established by the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992)
  • Corporate Officer of the House of Lords (established by the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992)
  • Trustees of Parliamentary Contributory Pensions Fund
  • Trustees of House of Commons Pension Scheme

Policing and prosecution

  • Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in respect of information relating to its function as a prosecuting authority

Publicly owned companies

  • companies owned more than 50% by any number of public authorities(see note 2).
  • companies limited by guarantee where more that 50% of the members are representatives of public authorities

Regulators and reviewers

  • Dartmoor Commoners’ Council
  • Farriers Registration Council
  • Independent Complaints Reviewer
  • Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation
  • Panel on Takeovers and Mergers

Royalty and Crown property

  • Duchy of Cornwall
  • Duchy of Lancaster
  • Privy Council
  • Royal Collection
  • Royal Household
  • Royal Trustees
  • the Sovereign (as Head of State)


  • UK Athletics (the national governing body for athletic)
  • Standard setting

    • British Standards Institution (BSI), in respect of its public functions

    State funded charities

    • Charities which received two thirds or more of their income from the state in the last financial period for which financial statements have been published.
    • History of Parliament Trust, The

    Transport and navigation

    • Air Travel Trust (manages the Trust Fund for the benefit of customers of failed tour operators)
    • Airports Commission
    • Humber Bridge Board
    • Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS), in respect of information related to appeals regarding public transportation
    • Manchester Airport Group (MAG is majority-owned by local authorities of Greater Manchester)
    • NATS Holdings Limited in respect of its functions as the main air navigation service provider in the UK
    • Network Rail Limited
    • Network Rail Infrastructure Limited
    • Navigation authorities for inland waterways (some are already subject to the Act)
    • Non-Trust port authorities in respect of the exercise of statutory functions as port authorities
    • Parking Adjudicators, in respect of complaints related to parking
    • Trust port authorities
    • Trinity House (the General Lighthouse Authority for England and Wales, also a Deep Sea Pilotage Authority)


    1. The wording used here is based on wording supplied by the Campaign for Freedom of Information who support the inclusion of contractors in the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. The term ‘person’ would be defined to include companies, partnerships, sole traders and other types of businesses.

    2. Under section 6 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a company has to be wholly owned by the public sector in order to be subject to the Act. This narrow approach excludes some companies that are majority-owned by public sector bodies. Section 6 also completely excludes companies wholly owned by authorities only subject to the Act in relation to certain classes of information. This means for example you cannot use the Freedom of Information Act to find out about the expenses claimed by a senior manager of a subsidiary of the BBC even though you could request information about the expenses of a senior manager of the BBC. The Act should apply to all companies (including banks) in which any number of public authorities own more than 50% of the shares.

    3. The law could be changed in line with the law in Scotland using the wording in the description column of the Schedule to Scottish SI 2013 No. 278.